Territory Stories

Coroners Act In the matter of Coronial Findings and Recommendation into the Death of Ms Souzana Afianos pursuant to section 46B dated 1 January 2004



Coroners Act In the matter of Coronial Findings and Recommendation into the Death of Ms Souzana Afianos pursuant to section 46B dated 1 January 2004

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Tabled paper 1394


Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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Messrs Hunt and Hunt, sought leave to appear on behalf of Dr Anne Patton. Ms Sievers instructed by Messrs Cridlands, sought leave to appear on behalf of the Department of Health & Community Services. Leave was granted in all cases pursuant to the provisions of section 40(2) of the Act. By way of a background summary, the Deceased was qualified as an enrolled nurse and had been lecturing at the Tennant Creek Campus of the Northern Territory University. Before undergoing the procedure the Deceased obtained advice and sourced information on gastric banding. Having decided to undergo the procedure she consulted a General Surgeon, Dr John Treacy. After preliminary investigations confirmed the Deceased as a suitable candidate for the procedure, she underwent the surgery on 13 February 2002 at Darwin Private Hospital. The surgical procedure was the implanting, by means of keyhole surgery, of a device known as a Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band. The procedure involved fitting the band around the uppermost part of the stomach. The size of the band when fitted was such that it contracted the stomach thereby dividing into two sections. The band is adjustable by means of injecting or removing fluid via a port placed under the skin. Gastric banding works by inducing a feeling of fullness after consumption of a much smaller quantity of food than would otherwise be the case. The result is that the person will eat much less and this in turn induces sustainable weight loss. Dr Treacy was particularly well experienced in the performance of the surgery haying then performed the surgery approximately 44 times in Darwin. He had attended a training course organised by the manufacturers of the band and had a representative of the manufacturers in the operating theatre when he first performed the procedure. The surgery performed by Dr Treacy on the Deceased was uneventful. Dr Treacys notes of the operative procedures undertaken by him have been 2

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